"Derailed"  

a brief ride on my train of thought

musings of the homebound mind by jim "shu" carroll

  • jim "shu" carroll

no good deed goes unpunished

got a call this morning from a friend who needed a small favor. seems that while swooping into his parking spot at the local coffee outlet, he had misjudged his entry into the undersized spot and smacked his right front tire on the curb. with his wife needing to leave for school, and a sick kid at home, he was going to abandon the tire change and wondered if i could give him a ride home. wife could be on time to school, sick kid would not be left alone. no problem. jumped in the car and made the short three mile "rescue drive" to help out a pal. should be the end of the story. all's well that ends well, right? well, usually. unless you are me. i have a couple errands planned for the day, but nothing that won't keep, so why not help out a friend who has about seven things to do today which do not include having a busted car? piece of cake. so i grab a bite to eat at home and call my buddy back. "dude. i'm swinging by to get your key. i'll put the spare on and drop your tire off at the shop, and you and your wife can pick the car up later. no worries". well, being the independent tough guy he is, he tries to refuse at first. but the logic is hard to dispute. he's in a jam. i got time. he would do it for me. end of story. so far. i go get his key and head off to save the day. i pull into the coffee spot and see the subaru listing to starboard. sure enough. that's a flat tire. and there is the offending curb, still wearing the evidence of the recent impact. i check the tire, but i know what i'm going to find: the sidewall has been pinched and punctured, and this tire is done for. you don't repair radial tire sidewalls. so i yard the spare out of the trunk and put it on, tossing the bad wheel/tire combo into my trunk to go get it repaired. of course, to change the tire i had to back out of the tight spot the subaru was in, and i repaired the tire in a "handicap parking spot" - the only big enough area within a few feet. so of course before i go, i have to move the car to a safe spot while i drop off the damaged tire. no sweat. i drop into the driver's seat, and whip the car back into the spot it just came from. for just a second the thought goes through my head: "now don't hit the curb. that tire is low on air!". this thought is driven from my brain by the jolt of the subaru hitting the same curb for the second time today. as i get out of the car, i am torn between gnashing my teeth and laughing my butt off, because i know before i get out what i'm going to hear, and sure enough i do. the hissing of the air escaping the second mangled sidewall of the morning. yep. me too.

astute observers will note that the wheel on the front right of the car in the picture is not the original wheel. it is the spare on the plain steel wheel and not the fancy alloy wheel. the fancy alloy wheel is there with the new tire i just bought freshly installed on it. yes, virginia, this is the second flat tire for this car this morning.

whaddya gonna do? i put the original wheel in my trunk, and go buy the first of at least two new tires the subaru is going to get today. this one is on me. my buddy protests, but we both know it's going nowhere. to help him feel better, i assure him that if he dropped my camera while shooting - even if doing so to help me - he would be repairing or replacing the lens. he believes me. and he should, because it is the absolute truth of the matter. my dog has not learned to clean up his own messes, but i have. i still feel pretty good about helping out my buddy. i do wish that having bought him a new tire that he had one more than he did before i got there, but alas, today that was not to be.